Railroad thread

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Andrew Boyd, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    @WaterproofPotatoes suggested I use this thread to save wear and tear on the PMs where my railroad TL was getting ideas.
     
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  2. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    Admittedly, I should have had the Santa Fe + Frisco merger take place later. Guess I was looking too far forward.

    Nonetheless, my main reason for the merger was several:

    - The Frisco's lines would fill up a few holes in the Santa Fe's network in Oklahoma and northern Texas. For example, better linking Tulsa, OK with the rest of the system.
    - The southern Pacific's able to transfer with southeastern roads at New Orleans. Santa Fe could use the SLSF's Birmingham division as a less congested alternative to New Orleans.

    As it is, my main idea for regulation would be the effort to avoid parallel roads where possible.
     
  3. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    May 14, 2017
    The problem is, these mergers are creating monopolies. Even with a weakened ICC, the Federal Government is not letting that go through. They'll bring an anti-trust suit.

    Also, those holes in the network? There's nothing there that desperately needs to be served. It's almost entirely rural farm and ranch land. And with earlier containerization, the few companies that do need service, can be served via intermodal service with the container trucked to the appropriate rail yard.

    Edit: perhaps you could include a link to this thread in a PM so we can all easily find it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  4. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

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    That's not the issue. The issue is that there is no valid economic case for a merger, period.

    -What does the ATSF need to move in or out of Tulsa?

    -New Orleans is a big port city. Birmingham is not. If congestion is an issue, double track your main line, don't go buying a whole railroad you don't need.

    For the benefit of all, across multiple PM threads, here are the two mergers we seem to be getting stuck on:

    Santa Fe - Frisco:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and


    Burlington Northern - Milwaukee Road

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see from the maps, the two networks are largely duplicated, and there isn't enough traffic to justify the continued existence of either the StL&SF or MILW.

    Comedy option: Have the MILW and Frisco merge, with the new company headquartered in Kansas City. Rename it St. Louis and Milwaukee so it doesn't matter that it doesn't go to San Fransisco. But seriously, that's ASB.

    @Andrew Boyd , why is it so important to you that MILW and Frisco survive?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  5. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    True. LOL
     
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  6. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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  7. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    With railroads I am more certain on, here are some ideas:

    - Southern eventually electrifies the main line from Cincinnati to Chattanooga through the Rathole Division.
    - Union Pacific keeps Big Boy 4023 and eventually restores that instead of 4014.
    - B&O gets just what's needed of the Western Maryland to reach the Reading, whereas New York Central gets the rest of the WM for the line to Baltimore.
    - The Missouri Pacific takes up the Chicago Great Western for its route from Kansas City to the Twin Cities.

    Any further ideas are welcome.
     
  8. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    Actually, the SLSF of my TL is still a fallen flag. It depends, but the basic idea is that another railroad buys them up instead of BN.

    As for the Milwaukee Road, I am not planning a merger with BN because a major goal of its survival in my is to make sure that the Burlington Northern does not have a near-monopoly of traffic in the Northwest. That is why I have been studying the article provided by @Republic of Michigan and believed he Rock Island or CNW should be the MILW's merger partner.
     
  9. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    @Andrew Boyd this may be a crazy idea, but what if the NYC merged with the MILW? IIRC, they're both going to be largely electrified. And it would create a true coast-to-coast rail network
     
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  10. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    That actually reminds me of what @TheMann's Conrail is like. Even so, one of my main goals is to have much of the railroads divided by certain regions. Which is why I had the idea of BN giving off various concessions in its merger.

    That said, I certainly plan to have various railroads link together via partnerships.
     
  11. Republic of Michigan Active Member

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    Aug 8, 2017
    I should mention that I found out recently that the Burlington purchased a significant amount of stock (I think about 40% or something, will have to check later) in the Frisco in 1966. And that was 4 years prior to the BN merger. So that apparently was a factor in why it was merged into BN.

    Also, while looking at their routes, I think it would be more beneficial to the Santa Fe if it had a line across southern Arkansas, like the Rock Island Memphis line, or something that would extend their line in southern Louisiana to at least New Orleans.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  12. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    Well in my TL, I was thinking a condition of the BN merger would be to concede the C&S south of Pueblo. Allowing the ATSF to get it in the end.
    On that front, I could see the Oakdale line extended.
     
  13. Republic of Michigan Active Member

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    Aug 8, 2017
    I don't see a benefit for the Santa Fe to get that line. They already have their own line from Denver to Galveston and you can see it on the provided maps above.

    That is the line I'm referring to, but I'd need to do more research. I just got a bunch of my railroad books and magazines from my parent's garage that are the source of most of my knowledge. I'll look back over them later tonight and see what I can find.
     
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  14. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

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    Before we keep fine-tuning (and the Big Boys are still operating now!), let's get back on track with the big picture: sweeping changes, and the consolidation of the network.

    From the PM threads, here is what @Andrew Boyd proposed, with my suggestions in brackets:

    Northeast
    - Boston & Maine
    - Pennsylvania
    - Erie Lackawanna [absorbed by PRR]
    - Chessie System
    - New York Central

    Southeast
    - Illinois Central
    - Atlantic Coast Line
    - Southern

    Northwest
    - Burlington Northern
    - Milwaukee Road (absorbed into BN or divided by BN and UP OR as below)


    Great Plains
    - Union Pacific
    - Rio Grande
    - Missouri Pacific [absorbed by UP]

    Southwest
    - Santa Fe
    - Southern Pacific

    ---

    I'd also posit that Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range would still exist, unless it was bought out by a big road.

    While still a lot more Class 1s than OTL, this is a much more manageable list.

    I like this. I like this a lot. They would finally be differentiated from the competition as well.
     
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  15. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    I actually was thinking the C&S would be given to the Rio Grande instead. Loosely based on @TheMann's idea for a line his DRGW built in 1990s.
     
  16. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

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    I was thinking about what could be behind allowing the railways to deregulate. The big push behind the Interstate highway system was national defence- maybe, such an appeal to patriotism could have an effect ITTL...

    From the desk of Martin Clement, President of Pennsylvania Railroad

    "A lot of fine young men, the best sons that the Pennsylvania Railroad family could ask for, played a big part in liberating Europe from Nazi tyranny. We can't thank them enough for their sacrifice, and we can't afford to dismiss the lessons they learned there.

    France's railroads were destroyed by the Nazis (AN: Yes, we are leaving Allied bombing efforts out!), and that made it damn hard for our boys to get the supplies they needed. Trucks -and it's not easy to say this as a railroad man, but hats off to the boys that ran the Red Ball Express- filled in much of the gap, but could never completely replace the trains. You see, on the PRR scales, a soldier weighs in at eight tons*- that's what he needed in supplies to keep taking the fight to the enemy.

    Our rails aren't as bad off as the ones in France, but no joke, the war did a number on them. We moved a lot of supplies, fighting our own battles against rust, delay, fatigue of both men and metal, and the Interstate Commerce Commission. We need to build the system to move the goods, but it's damn hard to do that when government regulations mandate us to maintain tracks we don't need, and run trains at a loss. These are rules our competition doesn't have to play by.

    We can build a system that will get men and equipment across the country whenever our nation needs it. All we are asking is to be allowed to do so. We'll do it, we'll do it ourselves, and we'll pay for it too.

    We are not asking for special rules to put the competition out of business. We are not asking for a federally-funded network of railroads paid for by the taxpayer. We are just asking for a fair shake, and the chance to do business while building up the industrial might of the United States. Just like we always have, and always will. Count on it, the train will always get through!"

    *an actual wartime propaganda poster
     
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  17. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

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    1.Railroading is a business, you can't think in terms of "given to". Economic changes drive expansion, contraction and sales of trackage.

    2. This is your TL, not TheMann's. As we have mentioned before, you can't just drop in ideas that work there and expect them to work here. You have different frameworks as well, so you need your own solutions to TTL problems.

    3. Again, we need the big changes between 1950 and 1960 to be able to advise you on how to go forward. It's really hard to do that when we keep getting stuck on saving Engine X or Line Y, and there's no framework in place beyond that.
     
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  18. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    Big changes:

    - Steam is eventually retired in most of the 1950s.
    - De-regulation of the railroads allows many to set fares for passenger rail more easily.
    - The Van Sweringen Roads, plus the DLW, come together as a larger Chesapeake & Ohio,
    - Electrification is targeted mainly on busier rail lines like the NYC Water Level Route.
    - Certain states draw up plans for passenger train services with various railroads. New York with NYC, Alabama with L&N, Pennsylvania with PRR, Georgia with the Southern, Missouri with the MoPac, etc. Assuming Amtrak does exist ITTL, there would still be state networks.
     
  19. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    More big changes:

    - ALCO survives with Chrysler getting it.
    - The New Haven eventually falls in the late 1960s with the PRR getting the New York - Boston line, CN getting the ex-NYO&W to Oswego and Buffalo, so on.
     
  20. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Keep in mind, if the ICC had deregulated passenger fares for rail (or at least loosened the controls), they would have done the same for the airlines. So passenger traffic won't really change. In fact, it may go down. With the cost of rail travel increasing and the cost of air travel decreasing, more people are going to choose to fly over taking the train. Particularly as the 50s draw to a close.

    See my above comment about the effects of deregulation. I think there will be fewer state level networks than you're suggesting, though still more than today.

    I really like this! Perhaps have ALCO partner with Chrysler on supplying engines after GM screws them leading to an eventual merger/buyout.

    If I may offer a bit of, hopefully, constructive criticism? Write you're timeline, not TheMann's. Otherwise why should people read yours when they get the same thing from someone else? Not to mention, you're working in a very different environment than he is.
     
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